New American Standard Bible
For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
King James Bible
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
Darby Bible Translation
Never have men heard, nor perceived by the ear, nor hath eye seen a God beside thee, who acteth for him that waiteth for him.
World English Bible
For from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen a God besides you, who works for him who waits for him.
Young's Literal Translation
Even from antiquity men have not heard, They have not given ear, Eye hath not seen a God save Thee, He doth work for those waiting for Him.
Isaiah 64:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For since the beginning of the world - This verse is quoted, though not literally, by the apostle Paul, as illustrating the effects of the gospel in producing happiness and salvation (see the notes at 1 Corinthians 2:9). The meaning here is, that nowhere else among people had there been such blessings imparted, and such happiness enjoyed; or so many proofs of love and protection, as among those who were the people of God, and who feared him.
Men have not heard - In no nation in all past time have deeds been heard of such as thou hast performed.
Nor perceived by the ear - Paul 1 Corinthians 2:9 renders this 'neither have entered into the heart of man,' 'which,' says Lowth, 'is a phrase purely Hebrew, and which should seem to belong to the prophet.' The phrase, 'Nor perceived by the ear,' he says, is repeated without force or propriety, and he seems to suppose that this place has been either willfully corrupted by the Jews, or that Paul made his quotation from some Apocryphal book - either the ascension of Esaiah, or the Apocalypse of Elias, in both of which the passage is found as quoted by Paul. The phrase is wholly omitted by the Septuagint and the Arabic, but is found in the Vulgate and Syriac. There is no authority from the Hebrew manuscripts to omit it.
Neither hath the eye seen - The margin here undoubtedly expresses the true sense. So Lowth renders it, 'Nor hath the eye seen a God beside thee, which doeth such things for those that trust in him.' In a similar manner, the Septuagint translates it, 'Neither have our eyes seen a God beside thee (οὐδὲ οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἡμῶν εἶδον θεὸν πλήν σου oude hoi ophthalmoi hēmōn eidon theon plēn sou), and thy works which thou hast done for those who wait for mercy.' The sense is, no eye had ever seen such a God as Yahweh; one who so richly rewarded those who put their trust in him. In the Hebrew, the word rendered 'O God,' may be either in the accusative or vocative case, and the sense is, that Yahweh was a more glorious rewarder and protector than any of the gods which had ever been worshipped by the nations.
What he hath prepared - Hebrew, יעשׂה ya‛ăs'eh - 'He doeth,' or will do. So the Septuagint, Ἅ ποιήσεις Ha poiēseis - 'What thou wilt do.' The sense given by our translators - 'What he hath prepared,' has been evidently adopted to accommodate the passage to the sense given by Paul 1 Corinthians 2:9, ἅἠτοίμασεν, κ.τ.λ. ha ētoimasen, etc. 'What God has prepared.' But the idea is, in the Hebrew, not what God has prepared or laid up in the sense of preserving it for the future; but what he bad already done in the past. No god had done what he had; no human being had ever witnessed such manifestations from any other god.
For him that waiteth for him - Lowth and Noyes, 'For him who trusteth in him.' Paul renders this, 'For them that love him,' and it is evident that he did not intend to quote this literally, but meant to give the general sense. The idea in the Hebrew is, 'For him who waits (למחכה limchakēh) for Yahweh,' that is, who feels his helplessness, and relies on him to interpose and save him. Piety is often represented as an attitude of waiting on God Psalm 25:3, Psalm 25:5, Psalm 25:21; Psalm 27:14; Psalm 37:9; Psalm 130:5. The sense of the whole verse is, that God in his past dealings had given manifestations of his existence, power, and goodness, to those who were his friends, which had been furnished nowhere else. To those interpositions the suppliants appeal, as a reason why he should again interpose, and why he should save them in their heavy calamities.
LibraryPutting God to Work
"For from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen a God beside thee who worketh for him that waiteth for him."--Isaiah 64:4. The assertion voiced in the title given this chapter is but another way of declaring that God has of His own motion placed Himself under the law of prayer, and has obligated Himself to answer the prayers of men. He has ordained prayer as a means whereby He will do things through men as they pray, which He would not otherwise do. Prayer …
Edward M. Bounds—The Weapon of Prayer
Twelfth Day for the Spirit to Convince the World of Sin
"But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness," &C.
A Defence of the Doctrine of Justification, by Faith in Jesus Christ;
1 Corinthians 2:9
but just as it is written, "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."
How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men!
And it will be said in that day, "Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation."
Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
"Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.
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